Dating: 2 Big Reasons Not to Chase Men & What You Can Do That’s Better


running-manAs a dating coach, I often notice trends in the dating stories my clients share. One of the most common complaints from women is that their efforts to let a man know they are interested are often not successful or well received.

This is always a clue for me into what their dating efforts look like. For many women, there seem to be few opportunities; so they tend to go into warp-drive when a man shows up. Warp-drive is for Star Trek, not dating. Let me explain.

“The Chase” is old school terminology describing what a man does to win a woman over. Surprisingly, this concept is still firmly entrenched in the male ego. Even today, with the amazing equality between the sexes, the chase still exists. Dating has not progressed and continues to be an archaic mating ritual based in biology. This seems counter intuitive and is the main reason many women struggle.

Independent women who have made it on their own, have the tendency to rely on their business or life skills to get things started with men. However, this strategy usually backfires. Here’s why:

1. Men don’t like to be chased
– I have spoken to many men who clearly state they don’t want to be chased. Calling men, frequent emailing and texting, asking them out; these behaviors turn them off! Sometimes a guy will be curious or flattered, but ultimately most want to initiate dates. This applies only to the first 4-8 dates and shifts once you move into the first phase of relationship so please don’t fret.

– When you chase a man, he may become suspicious, wondering why you like him so much. Honest, this is what men tell me.

– When you chase a man, he may think his chances of “getting lucky” with you are really good. According to a study at Rutgers University, college boys first claimed they like aggressive women, but later admitted they prefer to initiate.

2. Men don’t like the chase to be too easy
– This is true of both men and women when you think about it. For men, the caveman part still wants to conquer. If you are available at the drop of a hat, cancel other plans, jump when he calls, you are not creating any tension. This isn’t about playing hard to get, but it is about not being too easy.

– If you gush about how awesome he is and seem overly enthusiastic, this is also a turnoff.  Think how it is with a guy who is too nice, too eager, or calls too much. You likely prefer a man who is more aloof or at least waits a couple of days to call. That way you feel he’s confident rather than needy right? Well men feel that too.

If you wondering what you should do instead of taking charge and doing his job for him, here are three great analogies that help clarify. Keep in mind If a man disappears because you didn’t chase him, then you have learned he is not the right guy for you.

1. Dating is Like High School Chemistry
In chem class when you did experiments, you put everything in the beaker, turned on the burner and OBSERVED. No mixing or adding ingredients – you just watch to see what happens. Same thing goes for dating. You want to know what a man will do to win you over without doing his job for him. Otherwise you can’t collect important data about his true interest level.

Don’t muck up the experiment! Your job is to be charming, appreciative and watch what he does to see if that meets your needs. Things never get better than the first three dates, so if you don’t see what you like, you never will.

2. Dating is Like Ballroom Dancing
To dance well requires one leader and one follower. Two followers won’t go any where and two leaders will struggle. Initially, it works best to follow the man’s lead in dating. That means don’t pick up the phone unless it’s to return his call, don’t ask him out, or buy tickets, for at least the first three dates.

3. The Yin and Yang principle of Dating
This ancient Eastern symbol of balance has a black side and a white side. The sides are the same size and shape and fit together to form a circle. But the sides are not the same and do not blend (even though there is a bit of the other in each side). The pieces mirror each other but are DIFFERENT. So as women, stay within the black and let the guy own the white side to watch what he does without your prompting.

As I share with my dating coaching clients, if you feel confused about your next step with a man, resist your desire to take charge. Instead, remember these powerful analogies and hang tight. I guarantee that your dating efforts will be far more rewarding and you won’t chase anyone away by inadvertently doing his job for him. Rely on these proven techniques rather than your chick-in-charge instincts to find the love you want and deserve.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk



26 responses on “Dating: 2 Big Reasons Not to Chase Men & What You Can Do That’s Better

  1. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Jaime, When you do all the work, you have no idea if a man is truly interested. He maybe be bored or lonely and appreciate the attention. But that doesn’t mean he’s into you. What are the signs he likes you? He reaches out, initiates contact, texts, etc. because being in touch is important t him and he wants to feel connected. Men in love are not too busy. That is not love or it’s a man who is not capable of the kind of love you want.

  2. Jaime

    Ronnie I’ve been seeing this guy for a while now he told me that he loves me and I’ve been doing most of the texting and calling.i know he’s busy bc he in the Navy he just got back from Japan so I figured I’m going to give him some space and then spend some time with his family and let him finally do the texting and calling and video chatting

  3. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Michelle, I know it seems unfair but you acted with class. Some how this other woman bent over backwards to convince him to date her and now he is – but time will tell. I think you did the right thing. Why bend over backwards to date a man and go to that extent. Something is off if you ask me. Get out and meet some new men and find a good one for yourself.

  4. Michelle

    Hi Ronnie
    A really great looking military guy showed up at the office as a new employee and ALL the girls went gaga over this guy. Whaddaya know to my surprise she showed interest and flirted with me. I responded favorably (I believe) to let him know it was ok to approach and ask me out. I am always pleasant and helpful to him yet give him TONS of space.
    Well he never asked me out. I was disappointed but kept professional and kept up appearances.
    In come another female. She was agressive and overtly flirted with him in the office. Brought her friends in to basically convince the guy to date her. Well THAT worked. They are now dating. Im curious to see how it all plays out for them. But my question is: How come the other girl’s way of actively chasing him worked and I who did not chase failed?

  5. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Charlie,
    The man was honest with you – a round of applause for that! At least you know what happened. But don’t hold your breath for him to return. The best thing you can do is move on to find a new man. And my dating advice to you for the future is don’t ask men out. If it’s not a man’s idea, he won’t get invested in winning you over.

    As you can see, a man might say yes, go and have fun. But that doesn’t mean he’s genuinely interested. To find out if a man is really into you, over, your job as the woman for the first 6 dates (at least) is to say yes when he calls. But do not initiate dates or too much contact until further along. When he has to do the work, that’s your best chance he’ll get invested in winning you over.

    This practice eliminates so much dating confusion and keeps things really simple. Either he calls and asks you out at least weekly or he’s not that interested. You’ll never know that if you do his job for him. You might want to read this post on The Ballroom Dancing Theory of Dating which explains how to let a man lead at the start.

  6. Charlie

    Hello Ronnie,

    I was hoping for some dating advice. I have interest in this guy. We met on a dating site. Originally he said he wanted to hang out sometime. I said sure after a certain event. I then contacted him later. We exchanged numbers and met up. We enjoyed each other’s company. We went on a second after a week. I initiated the date. Went well again. We talked for a week without planning anything. He grew distant. He told me he had stronger feeling for another woman and didn’t want to lead me on because he wanted to see if it went anywhere with her. I was hurt. But I am glad to be friends with him. My question is there a chance for his interest to return or ask me out later on? This is just curiosity.

  7. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Veda, That is up to him. Since he let you know he’s not ready, the next move is his. If he wants to see you, he knows what to do. The last thing you want is to contact a man after he tells you he’s not ready. Time to move on. There is nothing you can do in this situation.

  8. Veda

    Hello Ronnie
    I’m 51 and I’ve been online dating sites for s while. I’ve connected with a man I really liked and we had a first dinner date very quickly after starting the conversation online. It was wonderful, at the end neither one of us wanted to say good bye. We kissed, and he was a perfect gentlemen. I had vacation plans the day after, we texted a few times while I was away. The day before I was due back he sent me a message saying that I’m very sweet, but he’s in an odd place right now, and doesn’t feel right to take it further. I replied nicely that I understand.

    I’m still very interested in him. How and do I contact him to see if he is more receptive to a relationship and rekindle what I’m pretty sure we both felt? My feeling is that he was recently out of the relationship and didn’t feel ready at the time.

  9. Yvonne

    Thanks for sharing those insights about chasing men. Dating is important aspect of forming a healthy relationship.Be sure that you and your partner agree to the same level of dating commitment before becoming too involved.

  10. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Joss – you can always reach out in friendship to a man. In fact, you can ask a guy out for coffee anytime as long as it’s once. This is just like an online dating first meeting. It’s a good idea to ask for advice as long as you really do let go should he not ask you out. Go for it!

  11. Joss

    Hello Ronnie,

    Does asking a guy out for coffee to ‘get advice from him on his expertise’ to break the ice considered ‘pursuing’? It is not a ‘date’ but setting up an opportunity to sit and talk to see if there is any interest on his part.

    There has been friendly banter, but always in passing in the building in which we work. My plan is if after the meeting he does not pursue then I’ll let it go. Is this a ‘good’ strategy or is it violating your rule as well?

  12. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Sorry Ennis, While some women maybe difficult to figure out or play games, that doesn’t excuse you from the role you were born into. Man up, take the lead and ask women out. If you don’t, you’ll likely stay single, blaming women for this problem. It’s your loss.

  13. ennis

    Ms. Ryan – I hope that you can see the pattern here with Ms. Melvita.And they wonder why guys just wait to be asked out, so that they can at least know that the woman might be interested, and without the games?

  14. Ronnie Ann Ryan Post author

    Hi Melvita, so you rejected him and blew off a date, but now you want him to ask you out? I feel confused and so must he. Do you like him? Why did you reject him? What makes you want him now? I guess in this case you could suggest getting together to see what he says. But don’t be surprised if this goes no where. Next time you like a guy and he asks you out by text or phone, if you’re free, say yes and go.

  15. Melvita

    I’ve been on 3 dates with this guy. He has asked me out twice after that but I rejected the first time and the second I kind of blew him off after having made plans. I was just upset that he did not call to make plans and he just texted. He has always contacted me a lot, and is a gentleman. He does call every now and then. Is it still wrong to ask him to do something?

  16. Ronnie Post author

    Hi Marie,

    I don’t know a way to get a man to chase you. He has to want to do that on his own. But flirting with him can help. It’s just friendly interchanges with him using your feminine charm. As to your other question, if a man flirts with you but doesn’t ask you out, he’s just flirting and it’s fun but means nothing. You might want to read this post to explain in more detail.

  17. Marie

    Is it possible to get a man to chase you if you have already made it known that you like him and have chased him a little? What are ways to let a guy you dont usually see know you’re happy in life and not sound desperate or needy? If a guy tells you he’s always been attracted to you but doesn’t ask you out, what does he/that mean?

  18. Domino

    I am a 32 year male and would agree with everything in this article 100%. Recently, my son’s daycare teacher caught me on my way back to my car and discretely told me that she found me attractive and asked if she could give me her number. Not only was I flattered by the compliment and her interest, but I found her initiative and show of strength to be very intriguing and a turn on.

    Unfortunately, that’s where it ended. After that came constant texts and calls, invites to coffee and lunch, offers to “join you guys” if she knew I was taking my kid out somewhere. If we casually agreed to dinner on Friday night, texts would start on Tuesday asking where, what time, etc.

    As Ronnie correctly states – it quickly turned me off. There was no chase. No tension. If anything, it became irritating and a nuisance. Had she held off after that initial interaction outside the school and let me take the lead, I think the interest would’ve remained. Unfortunately, the simply knowledge that she would jump up and meet me wherever and whenever I asked was enough for me to quickly lose interest.

    It always reminds me of a scene in “Coming to America”. In the movie, Eddie Murphy plays a royal prince who is given a wife for an arranged marriage. Moments before the ceremony, he asks her a few questions to get to know her – what music do you like, what food do you like? Her answer to every question is “Whatever you like” followed by a smile and a bow. He immediately loses interest and heads to New York to find his dream girl. Funnily enough, she turns out to be a New Yorker – tough, spunky and a little attitude.

    Men may kid themselves into thinking they want some subservient, easily available partner who is at their beck and call, but it’s amazing how much your DNA will reject this in favor of a chase, a challenge and a conquest.

  19. antoinette

    I’ve read what you say a women should not do, but does a woman do in order to attract a man. In my experience men are looking for the next hop in the sac and not good women. They say a lot, but don’t mean what they say.

  20. jneil

    In the face of all this science, I think the only reasonable thing for me to do now is to have my gender tested. And try to convince the other 4 guys to do so as well. But, of course, I can’t control them; I can only control myself.

  21. Ronnie Post author

    Hi jneil – wow that’s a lot of right and wrong -too much for my brain to follow! If what I say about the chase doesn’t work for your group – I understand. But it does work for the vast majority of women who I’ve spoken to or coached. Hey, even the millionnaire matchmaker agrees and Steve Harvey too. In fact, I’ve never encountered a dating expert worth their salt who encourages women to chase men. I’ve seen it time and time again – when a woman chases a man, it usually doesn’t go the way she hopes. Of course, there are exceptions to everything.

  22. Ronnie Post author

    Thanks Mikko for explaining the hormonal insights into the chase! How scientific!

  23. Mikko Kemppe - Relationship Coach

    First to Jneil’s I am curious to hear your reasoning for why you think Ronnie is wrong because what she said seem to validate a lot of what I believe.

    However, on one hand I am only 29 years of age. The only way I could think to reconcile this is to attribute your men’s groups members assumed lack of interest in pursuing women to dropped levels of testosterone often caused by the toxic Western lifestyle.

    But the wisdom of what Ronnie is saying is clearly also been proven scientifically. This is what I mean. When men are the ones pursuing women, dopamine (brain chemical associated with motivation and pleasure) and testosterone is being produced. Research proves that it is testosterone that lowers men’s stress levels as measured by the drop in cortisol levels.

    However, testosterone does not lower woman’s stress levels. It is the hormone oxytocin that lowers stress in women.

    So the point is that hormonally speaking, men and women potentially arrive the most pleasure by men being the chasers and women being the ones chased.
    However, in the Western world, unfortunately due to our toxic diet and lifestyle many men lose their ability to produce as much testosterone, while at the same time, older women start to produce much more testosterone in their body.

    So in that context, I could see how men would rather just enjoy the happy feelings
    produced by sitting around in circles talking about dating, while women are the ones out there doing the chasing.

  24. jneil

    I’m in a men’s group – 5 single guys age 48 – 65. We meet a couple times a month to talk about whatever is on our mind. Dating probably takes up about half of the conversation. While what you say isn’t 100% wrong with respect to our group, it is much more wrong than right. Which isn’t to say that it’s more wrong than right for most guys. But, it is probably more wrong than right among guys who take dating and relationships seriously and pay attention to why they believe the things that they believe.

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